Each of these things is true is a series of works developed whilst Alice Briggs was artist in residence at Cwm Elan during 2022.
The Cambrian Mountains today have been described harshly as a ‘white desert’, devoid of beauty, nature and life - but for the artist they are a place of sanctuary and ‘hiraeth’.
In our increasingly polarised society, we struggle more and more with the idea of both/and, that one perspective can simultaneously be as true and valid as another. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so in this case the landscape is both wild/tamed, a desert/sanctuary, a point of extraction/immersion.
The multiple layers of the historical, ecological and geographical landscape also became a metaphor for Alice in her life, at a point of personal change, grief and transformation.
The works were developed through a series of conversations, walks and swims through Cwm Elan and present multiple physical and psychic journeys interrogating the artist’s long-standing connections to the place.
Briggs walked the upper Elan Valley alone, and with her father, discussing archaeology and reminiscing on shared memories. She wades through the river to the point at which it meets the Victorian dam system; and her children stumble through the landscape.
The experience has been documented through films, installations and cyanotype prints taken from points in her journey.
Works for this exhibition were created while undertaking an artist’s residency supported by Arts Council of Wales, Elan Valley Links, Elan Valley Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, and Welsh Water – with thanks to g39 gallery, Cardiff the Freelands Foundation and Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
Each of these things is true is available to view at Aberystwyth Arts Centre until Sunday, 28 January.